Heresy was officially defined in medieval and Reformation times as deviation from the official creeds of the church, e.g., the Nicene Creed (325), the Chalcedonian Creed (451), the Augsburg Confession (1530). It was considered the obligation of the state to uphold and defend the creeds of the church, and to punish heretics, who were thus not only apostates from the church or its faith, but violators of the civil law and punishable as criminals. The Anabaptists were thus in most areas in Reformation times heretics and criminals.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1091. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Heresy." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/heresy.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1959). Heresy. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/heresy.